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23 May 2022, 13:50

Belarus responds to Lithuania's criticism in UN

MINSK, 23 May (BelTA) – Belarus categorically rejects any accusations of instrumentalizing migration. Aleksandra Shmat, Third Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Belarus to the United Nations Organization, made at the statement at the International Migration Review Forum, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandra Shmat said: “We once again note with regret that instead of joint actions and efforts, which could lead to a dialogue, our colleagues have decided to resort to the now usual rhetoric and politicization of individual matters and to accusations and intimidation. Regretfully, Lithuania's representative decided to exploit the forum in order to draw attention away from domestic problems in the area of migration and accusations of neighboring countries. She ‘diplomatically' concealed the description of real events, which happened in 2021.”

Aleksandra Shmat reminded that the Belarusian side had not used gas and weapons, cruelty and violence against defenseless people. Belarus had not decided to suspend cooperation, including cooperation in border security and migration.

“We categorically reject any accusations of instrumentalizing migration. The Republic of Belarus has always responded openly to matters relating to migration unlike our neighbors,” the diplomat stated.

Aleksandra Shmat also stressed that Belarus is not an aggressor as some have tried to portray the country. “We have never initiated any wars, conflicts, or provocations. We underline that the unwillingness of individual countries to work together on reinforcing common security, their ignorance and disrespect for legitimate interests of partners have undermined the possibility of a constructive dialogue year after year and have resulted in a hot conflict in Ukraine,” she said.

The third secretary noted: “As a UN founding country Belarus has always been in favor of preserving peace. And today we are sincerely interested in resolving the situation in Ukraine and making peace on terms acceptable for all sides of the conflict.”

Aleksandra Shmat stressed Belarus' readiness for mutually beneficial cooperation with all interested countries. At the national level the country will continue the necessary changes for the sake of realizing the global agreement, including the enhancement of the national potential for collecting and analyzing migration data, the development of the foreigner identification system, provision of medical aid to migrants, raising the nation's awareness about how individuals can safely leave the country, stay abroad, and counteract trafficking in persons.

The diplomat also noted that it is impossible to defeat migration problems on one's own and stressed the importance of stepping up multilateral, regional, and bilateral cooperation.

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